Tributes flood in for Castledawson’s ‘Big Jack’

Jack Rankin who passes away suddenly on Monday evening (May 12th)
Jack Rankin who passes away suddenly on Monday evening (May 12th)

The news of the sudden passing of John Albin (Jack) Rankin, has sent shock waves throughout the Castledawson and wider Mid Ulster community.

Jack, a popular local tradesman was heavily involved in local football club Moyola Park. The 50 year old, father of four passed away suddenly while playing football on Monday evening.

Speaking on behalf of the family, Jack’s brother Derby told the MAIL that he was a ‘great man’, a beloved brother and father. He’ll be sorely missed by his brother’s Derby, Brian, Alexander, David and sister Heather. Jack was the much loved son of Eileen and the late Derby.

Derby spoke of how his brother was ‘full of fun and mischief’ when he was younger and ‘maybe even more so when he was older’. Jack was a ‘huge football fan’ and had a football career in Cookstown United and Moyola Park. He was the dearly loved fiancé of Martina, with whom he lived in Mullaghboy Park, Magherafelt.

A spokesperson from Moyola Park paid tribute to Jack, telling the MAIL he was a ‘good man’ who was ‘out to help everybody whether through football or business’. Jack sponsored Moyola Park and played on the reserves team. The spokesperson describes Jack’s passing as a loss for the entire community.

“Moyola Park wish to express their condolences to the Rankin family at this sad time.”

Mid Ulster MLA Ian McCrea said: “Jack always ‘took the time to say hello, his death will effect the whole community’. Jack was very interested in local talent and helping young footballers in anyway he could .”